Day 3: South Dakota the day of many destinations
Okay, I have to admit something. I didn't take a shower at the campground where we stayed. I just couldn't get clean in a space I feel like I needed to clean. And, I am not even sure they would have been cleanable (is that a word?). I washed up, went swimming, and wash my hair outside but I won't step foot in those showers. Not even with flip flops.
They had a bathroom trailer and it was clean but unfortunately they didn't have showers in the trailer. I guess I truly roughed it and maybe my friends would have stayed away from me but EWWWW those showers. Now, I feel I can proceed.
We loved the campgrounds (with the exception of the shower situation). There was a little creek that ran along the back of all of our tents. Our friends brought hammocks and they set them up. They played in the creek and could have spent all day just playing at the campground in nature but we loaded them all up after a leisure breakfast to explore all the attractions. We had a loosely planned day and were in the mood to explore!
First up, Needles Highway! This is one of those experiences you need to smell, so windows down! The air is so crisp and smelled like evergreens! We stopped at a hole in the wall at least that is what it was called. It was a tiny cave in a rock wall. It was at this stop that I learned that my son LOVES to climb rocks! He is the type of child that would rather read books than do just about anything but he was in his element on these mountains.
Needles highway also had tunnels. They were actually smaller than the ones we went through the night prior. We definitely felt we could reach out and touch the sides of the cave! Here is a short video through Needle's Eye Tunnel!
We stopped a few time to view the sights and to go hiking! We also went to Sylvan's Lake! It was gorgeous with rocks to climb right in the lake! I have to tell you a story. Apparently, there is an entrance fee to get into Sylvan's lake. We noticed all the vehicles had stickers on their windshields. I asked someone where they got them and they said at the entrance where we paid to get in the park. We didn't pass anyone collecting money. Apparently, we had found a back way into the park!
The water was so pure, the sky so blue and the air so clean. It was so much fun just being there in God's creation with our friends. The children loved climbing the rocks and so did some of the adults!
I couldn't get enough the sights, smells, and sounds. But, after a few smaller hikes, a swim in the river and some mountain driving we headed to Crazy Horse!
Crazy horse is a huge carving in the side of a mountain. They have been working on it for years, since 1948, in fact!. They are doing all the carving without government funding and in 1998 the face of crazy horse was completed and dedicated. We went through all the fun buildings and were even able to take home a rock from the mountain that they had chipped away while carving Crazy Horse!
We also saw Navajo Hoop dancers perform live. They were amazing. Here is a video of them dancing.
We stopped and had ice cream on the way back to the campgrounds! We went back to the campgrounds to make dinner. The amazing part about traveling with friends is we all took turns cooking so none of us had to cook all the time! The kids seemed extra hungry too because of all the fun activities during the day. We also slept so well. It is amazing how you feel when you are out in nature.